We continued our game this Friday evening after a busy week with less sessions than usual.
Axis Impulse 1 (we had played the Allied Impulse last session):
Italians take a combined and send a fleet with a navel bomber to the eastern med. Ready to fight the Cw who have a navel bomber in the 4 box and a carrier, conv, the queens (who brought those dammed Canadians to Athens) and a lot more in the 0 box.
First split is 2/6 Italians find allies do not, (Italians didn't have a convoy). Surface and a target, the queens must pay is Il Duce's order. We play with the optional rule that transports and amphs sink based on their speed so only a 1-4 instead of automatic. A three seas the queens on the bottom of the sea. 2 Cw cruisers are damaged VS 1 Italian cruiser sunk and 1 damaged. Good start of the turn for the Axis, and this is only the start of what would turn out to be a very hectic turn.
The second search sees a 2/6 split again. Same result and the carrier (Illustrious if I recall correctly) and it's plane pay the Queens a visit. The damaged Italian cruiser takes a sunk and follows the CW, it is getting busy at the Ocean floor.
Next round 10/5 British navel bomber is useful for the first time this round. It scores a sunk sinking a cruiser and aborts the Roma (the abort of the Roma may have been in an earlier round).
The next search sees the convoy sunk and some CW ships aborted cutting supply to the Canadians in Athens. After that the searches finally fail.
Massive german and Italian air commitment (4,3,2) see the canadian (os) and militia flipped. The assault by von Leeb and a Bulgarian + shore bombardment and even more air support take the city at a 5-1 +3 assault. The allies did try to get a long range bomber to support the defenders but an Italian fighter prevented that. Athens is captured by the Bulgarians with a flipped von Leeb staying in the Mountains to keep supply to the Bulgarian (there is still a Greek mountain corps in the mountains).
The Germans attack in the west, a 2-1 +1 blitz rolls a 10 and drives the last french back across the river. The fatherland is secure once more with all of Germany in Axis hands.
Japans inspired by this success sail some ships and fail a port attack on Aden where they loose a cp vs 2 oilers. India is reinforced by the Tokyo Militia, a mech corps and the special bike division.
Cw take a navel and sail ships everywhere besides the Pacific. Italy has committed most of her fleet except a few subs so no real threat there. 2 carriers go to the western med for what might be a port attack on the aborted Roma.
The previously successful Italian fleet is found 6/2 split, now in the 0 box due to the delivered support on the assault on Athens. 2 cruisers are sunk and 2 heavier ships are aborted. CW have a cruiser damaged and 2 aborted battle ships.
USSR take a combined and establish, together with the CW, a convoy line to Murmansk. They also reinforce their lines.
French reposition to prevent a German assault in the most southern ends of the Magiont line after their successful attack earlier.
Germany aligns Yugoslavia (no us entry) and take a combined. Prince Paul is railed to the Leningrad front, I had no HQ there until Paul arrived. The fleet in Kiel sends out the Scharnhorst, Gneisnau, Köln and another cruiser and they sink 2 cruisers and a convoy while aborting another convoy and battleship. Only for a damaged Scharnhorst while the Gneisnau and cruiser abort. The Köln rules the sea and no more aid for the USSR.
Italy loses a sub.
Japan takes a land but the rain prevents any real progress in India.
CW take a combined and my dad is so friendly as to point out that he can assault Athens. The 5-3 mountain attacks the 4-3 Bulgarian with massive support from the CW fleet. 10-4 turns into a 3-1, 6 rolled and Athens falls. As if that was not bad enough a very good navel bomber is overrun and 6 Italian fleets must set sail. Apparently the Acropolis saw the visit of many Italian sailors since 3 (3 out of 6!?) ships, the Vittorio Veneto and another decent battleship and light cruiser will sail under British command from now on. Another ship is sunk and only 2 escape to Beirut.
The other allies pas so that the turn will end with a 6, a 4 is rolled so the turn ends after this complete disaster. This is Gibraltar all over again, luckily we had aligned Yugoslavia adding 2 resources and a few units including a HQ to the German army.
Initiative shifts to +1 Allied, no partisans.
US entry: Oil embargo on Japan, oil income drops from 7 to 3. And the war appropriations bill is played. Both lead to tension.
A great turn which turned completely in the last allied impulse. The Italians lost around 1/3 of their fleet in one turn. This is probably the biggest mistake in this game from me so far since the Italian fleet could and should have gone to Beirut in the first place. Furthermore it would have been wise if I had railed another unit to Athens to prevent any chance of a decent attack.
Italian fleet in under the British flag (footage from next turn)
All that remains of the Italian fleet, 2 cruisers in Beirut and a transport in a minor port in Greece excluded.
Allies win initiative:
CW takes a navel sending the captured Italian ships to the Eastern med, painful to see the pride of the Regia Marina on the wrong side of history. They also reinforce Athens with a division from Gibraltar, with the militia being rebuild as well Athens is strong once more. Gibraltar sees the arrival of a armored wp corps, no more gambles with it this time.
Communists do their shuffling on troops while Mao attacks Lan-Chow and actually recaptures it after a lucky ground strike on the Japanese air support. China had been quite for so long that my position was not perfect. Luckily I had destroyed the factory (we play with that optional rule) so it will not add to communist production. They also isolate a inv division on the resource.
French took a combined and did some insignificant things.
Italy wants to make the CW suffer, minisubs are good for this task and since a transport just brought the armored corps to Gibraltar we have a juicy target. 2/9 split sees the transport sunk together with a convoy. I'm not entirely sure but it might be the case the the CW has at the moment not a single transport of amph left on the board, there is a great shortage in the best case scenario. There are a few in the repair and in production though.
Japan advances in India taking the resource near Calcutta and rebasing a para corps with its plane to India.
The sun is shining so Germany goes all out. First a Yugoslavian corps is send to von Leeb to prevent possible Greek attempts to reclaim more then just Athens. 2 attacks in the east and 1 in the west. Ground strikes flip 3 french on the Belgian resource and 1 armor in the east, a guard banner and a corps (divided over 3 different hexes, all in the south though). Allied fighters fail to be abort any bombers. In the most southern tip of the Soviet line a little panzer division appears and together with lots of ordinary infantry they score a high blitz (2-1 +2 or sth) scoring a */1B. All of a sudden the Germans can dream of the oil fields again. Whereas last summer the Stalingrad debacle had shattered all hopes for progress on this front.
The breakthrough in the South:
In the center Anton decides that it is time to show the world what Romanians are made of. Together with some troops dispatched by Gudarian from the Moscow front (the capture of Moscow has be postponed for now), Anton destroys a corps and division. There is a gap in the center, however since the Soviet Union has not yet profited from the culture brought to this bitter lands by the German army there is nothing to race towards, just woods and endless tundra.
Anton's offensive after the destruction of the northern part of the central front:
We ended the session at this point.